Thursday, 14 January 2010


Unless you've been under a rock or living on Jupiter for the past few weeks, you'll know all about the weather conditions this country has been battling with lately. Earlier today, as I sat shivering in my house, wearing a jumper and slippers, I began thinking about the people who aren't lucky enough to have a roof above their heads, or aren't currently wearing warm jumpers and sitting at laptops or in front of nice TV screens.

Yes folks, despite all the faux-anger I direct on this blog towards idiots who write letters, I am a big softie at heart. And then I began thinking about John Bird.

I admire this man greatly. After a traumatic youth, which involved spending time in an orphanage, in prison and on the streets, he co-founded The Big Issue in 1991 which gives homeless people the chance to make an honest living by selling it on the streets. Let's make one thing clear - Bird is a businessman. He isn't a charity, and openly acknowledges that he makes money out of his venture. However, his passion and commitment towards helping the homeless shouldn't be ignored, and I think sadly it is.

Look at some of the people who have been knighted recently: Sir Mick Jagger. Sir Alex Ferguson. Sir Elton John. Sir Alan Sugar. Okay, good musicians, good football manager, good businessman. But, in my personal opinion, I think that if they've been knighted, so should John Bird. Just my thoughts.

ANYWAY I'm rambling. The point of this blog entry, before I got side-tracked, was to talk about The Big Issue. How many of you buy it? Since I've started university, I regularly bump into the guy selling them in Wolverhampton, and if I have loose change on me and close to hand, I always purchase an issue. It's not a bad magazine actually - the film and music reviews are always honest, and there's some good features. There's no sports section, but that's a petty criticism. The poetry is usually pretty dire, but that's even pettier. The crossword is nice and challenging.

All in all, it's not too shabby. If you don't buy it, or never have - there's my little challenge to you. Next time, instead of blanking the person standing on the street selling one, dig out £1.50 and give it a try. If nothing else, you'll feel a bit better about yourself, as I know I do. And it might just contribute to someone being a little bit warmer on these cold nights.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


Let's tackle the last one of these "reader blog ideas" that was sent in, this time courtesy of the lovely Sue. Let's see what she wishes for me to tackle:

Sue's Blog said...


Right. Just one second....(goes off to

Oh right, I see. Well, the first thing that has sprung to my mind regarding this topic is a ghastly set of books called 'Animorphs' which were everywhere a few years back when I was at school. I think CBBC then made a TV series based on them. Some of my friends liked them, whereas I thought they were shit.

If I could turn into any animal? Hmm, a tricky one. Dolphins, I believe, are the only mammals that enjoy sex. Apart from humans, of course, although I find it more uncomfortable than enjoyable. Perhaps I would like to be an animal that hibernates through the winter, and wakes up in time for my favourite season, Spring.

I would love to be a bird though - to soar through the skies, looking down upon the towns, and the countryside, and the sea, without a care in the world. But I'd also like to be a lion, the King of all animals. I honestly can't decide.

Of course, transmogrification just doesn't apply to animals - it is the changing in appearance or form. That reminds me in turn of a character called Eugene Tooms in the marvellous TV series The X-Files, who could mutate his body at will. Whilst I don't wish to murder people, that function would perhaps come in handy when, say, rescuing golf balls from when I've whacked them into hedges, streams etc.

It's an interesting topic, if nothing else. What animal would YOU be, dear reader?

Thanks for the suggestion Sue!